Purchasing uses Oracle Workflow technology to handle the entire approval process. When you take an approval action in the Approve Document window or the notification, or through the Web or e–mail, you are ”submitting” the approval action to Workflow. Workflow works in the background, using the approval controls and hierarchies you’ve defined to route documents for approval. Because Workflow handles your approval process in the background, you can use Oracle Workflow Builder’s easy interface to modify your approval process.
Approved Documents and Supply
A Pre–Approved document does not show up as supply. A Pre–Approved document is one that meets the following conditions:
- A person with the final authority to approve the document approves it, but then forwards it to someone else for additional approval, thus changing its status to Pre–Approved.
- Your organization uses encumbrance (reserves funds for documents), and the document is authorized for approval but funds have not yet been reserved for it. Even if someone with sufficient approval authority approves the document, its status may still be Pre–Approved if funds were not able to be reserved at the time of approval. Once funds are reserved for the approved document, the document changes its status to Approved.
A Pre–Approved document does not show up as supply until its status changes to Approved.
When you make a change to an approved document that changes its status to Requires Reapproval, that change (for example, to quantity) does not show up as supply until the document has been approved again.
Approved requisition lines that have a line type based on rate or fixed price do not show up as supply.
An offline approver is someone who does not log on to Oracle Applications, but uses someone else to approve on his or her behalf. All approvers, including offline approvers, need to have a logon user name. Even if the approver is set up as an employee in the approval hierarchy, Purchasing cannot continue with approval without that employee’s also having a logon user name.
If in the Approve Document window you forward to an approver who does not have a logon user name, Purchasing alerts you right away. If an approver without a logon user name is already included in the approval hierarchy, the approval workflow will fail at that approver. (The document will remain In Process.)
To include the offline approver in document approvals, you need to:
- Assign the offline approver a logon user name.
- Use the notification handling feature to forward the offline approver’s documents to a proxy approver—someone who canlog on to Oracle Applications and approve the document on the offline approver’s behalf.
You need to do both of these steps. The approval process needs to know the offline approver’s logon user name before it can route that person’s documents to the proxy approver. Both of these steps are described below.
When you designate a proxy approver to approve on the offline approver’s behalf, the offline approver, not the proxy approver, shows up as having approved the document in the Action History window.
To designate a proxy approver:
1. Assign the offline approver a logon user name if the approver does not already have one.
2. In the Purchasing or System Administrator responsibility, in the Workflow menu, navigate to Notification Rules, which opens a Web page.
In the System Administrator responsibility, the Workflow Administrator > Notification Rules menu enables you to reassign
anyone’s notifications. In the Purchasing responsibility, the Workflow User > Notification Rules menu enables you to reassign
only your notifications.
3. Designate a proxy approver for the offline approver by following the instructions in Defining Rules for Automatic Notification Handling, Oracle Workflow Guide. The instructions for defining these rules refer to a role. For Purchasing, role means the user for whom you are designating a proxy approver.
When you reach the Find Notification Routing Rules Web page, enter the user name of the offline approver.
If you want to designate the proxy approver for both requisitions and purchase orders, when you reach the step about selecting the workflow (item type) for which you need to create the proxy approver, select the PO Requisition Approval workflow. Then repeat the steps for the PO Approval workflow, for purchase orders. (Recall that different document types are tied to their corresponding workflows—usually to either the PO Requisition Approval workflow or the PO Approval workflow—in the Document Types window during Purchasing setup. For example, the PO Approval workflow handles all purchase order types, unless you’ve set up the Document Types window to do differently.)
Once you have selected the workflow, you will be presented with a list of the notifications within the workflow. For offline approvers, you may want to select All notifications.
When you reach the step that asks you to enter a comment, it is advisable to enter a comment—for example, ”This document requires your approval on Joan’s behalf.” This helps the proxy approver know whether it is just another document in his or her queue, or a document that needs to be approved for someone else.
Mass Forwarding Documents
Use the Forward Documents window to forward all or selected documents awaiting approval from one approver to a new approver. This lets you keep your documents moving when the original approver of a document is unavailable.